Making an ABC

How to use the ABC

The ABC will be a record of how we think now, what our places mean to us and what they comprise. It can be used to good effect:

As a celebration of the place.
As with Parish Maps, an ABC should be a starting point for local action. It should attract local media attention and inspire others to become involved, decide how to channel this interest before your ABC is launched.

To promote locally distinctive produce,
created in the area to benefit the local economy.

Every home should have one.
The ABC is important for awareness raising, encourage those who have no time to be involved to order one.

A framed copy
should be hung in the community centre, Council Chamber, local pub, on the Parish Notice Board.

It could also be:

... for sale in the Tourist Information Centre
... in schools and colleges as a prompt for projects
... used in slide shows/talks
... the focus for guided walks
... the provocation for photographic competitions
... be made into an exhibition of the artwork
... sent to tourism officer at the district/county council
... placed on your local/parish/neighbourhood website
... sent to the County Record Office and local library.

As a campaigning tool.
Your ABC is a manifestation of what you collectively care about in your place and an expression of local distinctiveness from the inside. It might help in ensuring that new houses are respectful of the place, that patches of wild garlic are not included in the municipal mowing regime, that a new car park does not remove valued trees.

Local authorities are always trying to get more people involved in local decision making. Here is a way of introducing yourselves to them and asking to be kept informed and involved. Copies might be sent to the mayor, parish council, planning officer of the district or borough council, county record officer, heritage/conservation officer, tree officer, LA21 officer, regional Government Office with covering letters.

Send copies with a press release to the local media, encourage them to challenge others to create ABCs.

To raise funds.
If your group or place need to fundraise, once the poster has paid for itself you can order reprints or, with permission from the artists, use images from the ABC as postcards or calendar.

As the focus for what to do next.
With luck, your group will have had such a good time that it wants to go on to other projects. Having looked closely at your patch you may have found some things that need doing such as repairing old gates and stiles, getting the stream to run again through the park, starting a tree group, reviving a market, creating a new cheese..

How to Start
Gathering Information
Getting Your ABC Printed
An ABC of Shaftesbury
An ABC of Bicester

Lea Valley Allotments ABC
ABCs from Cumbria
Hampshire ABC